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Inspired by the secret life of the author's grandmother, Lotus follows a young woman as she defies her fate and escapes to the city and all it holds for her -- be it love, danger, or destiny.Surviving by her wits alone, Lotus charges headlong into the neon lights of Shenzhen, determined to pull herself out of the gutter and decide her own path. She's different than the other streetwalkers -- reserved, even defiant, Lotus holds her secrets behind her red smile. The new millennium should've brought her better luck, but for now she leads a double life, wiring the money home to her family and claiming she earns her wages waiting tables. Her striking eyes catch the attention of many, but Lotus weighs her options between becoming the concubine of a savvy migrant worker or a professional girlfriend to a rich and powerful playboy.

About the Author

Lijia Zhang

I am a rocket-factory-worker turned writer and social commentator. I grew up at a worker's residential compound in Nanjing, on the bank of Yangtze River. Excelling at school, I dreamed of going to university and becoming a journalist and a writer. But at 16, I was taken out of school and put to work at my mother's factory that produced inter-continental missiles, capable of reaching North America. Bored to death from greasing machine parts, I sought escape and enlightenment in reading and writing and began to teach myself English. After a decade at the factory, I managed to leave China for England where my childhood dream stirred. I studied journalism. When I returned to China three years later, I started my career by assisting foreign correspondents before becoming a journalist myself. In 1999, I co-authored China Remembers, a well-received history of contemporary China for Oxford University Press, which whetted my appetite for book writing. My memoir "Socialism is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of New China was first published by Atlas and Co. in spring 2008 and then by Random House in May, 2009. It has been translated into various languages around the world and met with wide critical acclaim. Inspired by the revelation from my grandma on her deathbed, I went on to write the novel Lotus. It follows a young prostitute in Shenzhen, known as 'China's capital of sins'. For me, prostitution is just an interesting widow to observe social tensions brought by the reforms and opening up police in recent decades, such as the rural-urban divide, the growing gender inequality and the tug of war between the tradition and the modernity. Based in Beijing, I am one of the few Chinese writers and social commentators who write in English for international publications.

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